Jack Butland hails 'hero' Joe Hart after World Cup omission
Last Updated: 23/05/18 11:15pm
Jack Butland says he made an emotional call to 'hero' Joe Hart after finding out the latter would not be joining him in England's World Cup squad.
After three successive tournaments with England, Hart's form at West Ham contributed to him missing out this summer, leaving Butland, Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope as Gareth Southgate's goalkeepers for the tournament in Russia.
Hart, who has 75 England caps, started nine of their 10 World Cup qualifiers and Butland admits his thoughts immediately turned to a man he drew inspiration from throughout his own career.
"I've spoken to Joe. I know he's devastated to miss out and I'm gutted for him," said Butland.
"He's been my hero since I was 14 years old and I still look up to him now. It was important for me to tell him that because you don't often get opportunities to tell people what you really think about them.
"If Joe had been here that conversation never gets had. It was really important to me and hopefully he valued that as well."
England face Tunisia in their opening game on June 18 before playing Panama and Belgium in their remaining Group G fixtures.
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